The Struggle With Earning God's Favor
2 Timothy 1 : 9
"He has saved us and called us to a holy life—
not because of anything we have done
but because of his own purpose and grace.
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time..."
I am a fairly efficient person. I am pretty good at rolling up my sleeves and getting things accomplished when I have my mind set on it. Go ahead, say it - "prideful much!?"
Anyway, while the world may say that this is a good quality to have, this truth reveals sin. My spirit tends to struggle with the bottom line of the Gospel - I cannot earn salvation. As Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:9, we are not called based on our works, but because of the Lord’s purpose and grace which He gave us in Jesus before the world began!
My hearts struggles with knowing that others (friends... family... my children!!) cannot be saved by anything that I do! My works are worthless regarding salvation.
I really do struggle with pride! The Bible says that our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Allow me to be crude for a minute ladies....
Even on our best day, we are so filthy that the modern translation of “filthy rags” would actually mean "used tampons!" Not exactly how I like to think of myself! How could I think that my filthy rags could be good enough to offer a King in exchange for everlasting life?
Any holiness seen in me is just a reflection of the One who is holy. He gives me that holiness because He has a purpose in using me for his glory. What's more is that He doesn't even need me to accomplish his purposes, but He chooses to use me. And He knew how He would use me before the world was even created!
The beginning of chapter one in 2 Timothy is one of my favorite sections of scripture as a mother. In verse 5, Paul writes to Timothy:
2 Timothy 1 : 5
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice
and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
I love the active role that these beautiful women had in little Timmy's life! God planned to use Timothy’s mother and grandmother, no doubt, but they still had to put feet to His calling. Their righteousness, just like ours is equated to filthy rags, yet God used them. That fact alone magnifies a glorious Savior. God did not need Lois or Eunice, even Timothy or Paul but He used them all and their lives are still witnessing to people as we read their stories in Scripture.
We are called to a holy calling by a holy God. Although I cannot do any good works to earn salvation, I still serve Him. Because I love God and know what He has done for me, I will share my faith with others as if their lives depend on it. God does not need me to save them, yet He uses me as a reflection of Christ’s love to others.
2 Timothy 1 : 14
I will guard the truth of the gospel that has been entrusted to me
by the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells in me.